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tv   [untitled]    August 25, 2010 2:00pm-2:30pm PST

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pedestrian safety summit. thank you for joining us this morning. before we start i want to go through a few house keeping items. the restrooms are to my left around the columns and i'd
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like to request you all turn off your cellphones or at least put them on vibrate thing thank you. i'm the pedestrian program manager the s.f. municipal agency. i'm your, mc for today. peter albert is our director of planning at the mta. [applause]>> good morning. with christina i welcome you to the 2008 pedestrian summit. i'm the deputy of director of planning at the mta and it's my honor and privilege to introduce two of the most important people in san francisco for this. wade is the mayor's point person on climate and environmental policy. wade, thank you for joining us.
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>> i'll be brief on behalf of mayor newsom i want to thank everyone for being here today. this is a seminal moment in our city and i want to thank the mta board. some members here today, commissioner bruce oka, commissioner knollen and others for prioritizing pedestrian safety. i think we're ready to take it to the next level in expanding and improving pedestrian environment in san francisco. as someone that walked to work down van ness most days i can attest to most recent improvements and on-going challenges where the need to have pedestrian countdown signals on high traffic intersections or issues of the quality of pavement in cross walks or clarity of the cross walks themselves so i'm excited to be here today and be part
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toichl improvements and then on behalf of mayor newsom and administration we're excited to support the m.t.a's work of this. i'll give you 30 seconds of context and why pedestrian matters to ten environment in san francisco we focus and contextize most of our work around climate change and protection. when you look at greenhouse gas pollution generateed san francisco, just half are related. 51 percent come from vehicles and breaking that down thur there. one percent of city-wide emissions come from muni fleechlt thanks to mta board and employees we have one of the cleanest bus and lieft or light rail fleets in the country. another is from the car fleet that's increasingly green and 2% from regional transportation.
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about 47 percent. our greenhouse gas pollution is from city driving they're cars. a quarter are from commuters and a quarter are people driving cars in the city so one of our goals in the mayor newsom administrative is to make nonautocars more accessible and convenient. the transit effectiveness project your mostly aware of. vigorous approach to improving muni but not only about that to expand options to ride buses and rail but bikes and walking in san francisco. we believe the safer that the pedestrian environment is in san francisco the more attractive it will be for local residents and hopefully the more attractive for people to get out of their cars and use city streets. on behalf of mayor newsom i appreciate you all being here
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today and hope to learn from various panels such as walk san francisco and others in partnership with mta to improve pedestrian safety. thank you very much. >> thank you, wade. it's now my pleasure toin troe dues the executive director of the san francisco municipal agency nathaniel ford. he over sees to planning and develop meant of virtually every mode of transportation in san francisco. pedestrian, bikes, transit, parking the safety and comfort and convenience of the network in san francisco is a top priority for the san francisco mta. his call for this summit under lines our commitment to make sure we improve and enhance the robust pedestrian network we already have in san francisco.
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please welcome t mr. ford. >> good morning and thank you for coming out today. this summit we've put together along with the department of health is an effort to improve upon pedestrian safety here in the city. now two years ago i joined the mta and one thing that attracted me most to to the opportunity was the interknow tilism of this system. i'm primarily a transit guy but we recognize here at the agency transit doesn't operate well in and of itself. in fact transit customers start out as either a pedestrian or a bikist or an automobile user to get to their transit opportunity to get to their mobility so. today's opportunity for us to get together and share some ideas and look at best practices is an opportunity to improve transportation overall for the entire city. not a day goes by
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i'm not switching hats. one day the bike hat, next day the pedestrian hat, following day transit and parking and garage hat from time-to-time but today is pulling hats together with focus on pedestrians and opportunity to improve transportation in the city. i'm supported by a great team of professionals at the mta on the board with bruce,oka and vice chairman knoll knnolen as well staff primarily in our pedestrian area. those individuals at this current time are working with the planning department to put together a better streets plan and over the last few months i've been hard pressed and pushing them very hard to put together this summit and they're efforts i think should be recognized along with the advocates as well as in the
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disabled community and pedestrian community to put this together. we have a lot to be proud of in the past and where we are today while we're not 100% there and have room for improvement, we have a lot to be proud of and should in fact applaud all of the advocates and folks that worked to get us where we're at today. so, give yourselves a round of applause. so, now we must look towards the future. last year was not one of the best years in terms of pedestrian safety here in the city. we received a great deal of recognition and being one of the most walkable cities but i think any accident, any fatality or serious accident is one too many. over the past few weeks weaver worked on goals for next year related to pedestrian safety and accidents and fatalities. as rewe struggle to set our standards and goals we quickly
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come to the realization that no pedestrian fatality and serious accidents should occur. so, our goal is zero. there's no acceptable number or percent except zero accidents and pedestrian fatalities. it's a tall order and can't do it alone as mta and need your assistance to get there and again i thank you for coming out today and i thank you for your commitment to making pedestrian safety a priority in this city. have a good summit. [applause] >> thank you mr. ford. i'd like to introduce our next speaker peter jacobson. he'll speak to us on san francisco in context as well as on his work on safety in numbers. peter is a civil engineer with a strong interest in inner
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connection the between transportation and health. he has published several articles in public health and engineering journals on walking and bicycling. he wrote the or cowrote the pasadena bike plan. less help me welcome peter jacobson. >> thank you christina and thank you for having me and thank everyone here for being here. i appreciate that. it's an important topic so let's roll. when i talk about this paper we wrote. it's a connection between safety and walk built and that's one we need to explore for this meeting. first question is what do we mean by safety and that's kind of a fuzzy word with a lot of different sort of meanings. you know the safety mean well padded. i used cartoon here where they envision everyone driving around in tanks.
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is that safety? um... i don't think so. maybe that's an industry friendly version of safety but certainly not pedestrian friendly. also these large,c uvs have a hyphaah hyphaalty ri rate and they're dangerous to pedestrian. does it mean no injuries or no danger. this confusion of what safety really means is classic joke about this conflict between injuries and danger is if you have allah goon with man eating sharks. no one swims in it so we have no fatal this and does that mean the lagoon is safe? of course not. it's a joke but here we are. we're going to come back to what is safety and how do we get that. let's look at san francisco in
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context here. to some of the other cities in the region. san francisco has a lot of pedestrian injuries, more so than the other cities in the area but look at the slide and say wait a second! san francisco is a large city. so if we adjust this for injuries per capita, we still see san francisco is still showing a lot of pedestrian injuries but not as strongly, now we see that san francisco and berkley have maybe close to 2 times as many pedestrian injuries as san jose or richmond. this does again men t mean that francisco is more dangerous place to walk than san jose or richmond. what we need to do is account for the amount of walking, and this is using census data. we don't do a good job in america keeping track of how
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much walking occurs. census data asks how you get to work on the long form. it turns out to pretty good measure of walking in the community, but as you can see here there's ten times as much walking in berkley or san francisco as maybe san jose or richmond. so, if we adjust the per capita injury rate for the number of walkers, we see a very different view of the injury rate here in san francisco. actually san francisco and berkley now look quite good. the injury risk per person walking in berkeley and san francisco is much lower than san jose or richmond. there's a factor of three difference between san jose or berkley. that's worth exploring. one of the things you find is injury risk per walker, is lower in the communities with a lot of
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walking so if you graph this out on this curve here - on the ex- axis is the amount of walking that occurs and more safe t communities are lower on the,y axis and berkley and san francisco stand out to be pretty good places to walk. these are actually considered healthy places to walk. met two goals. lower injury rate but lots of walking is good for health so. we want to be in the lower right and corner of this curve. that's where we have a healthy city. so in my paper i expanded this graph here and we looked at walking in 68 california cities and you see that these - the injury rate and amount of walking is closely coupled and
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indeed where you see more walking the injury rate is less and where there's less walking indeed the injury rate is higher. and that's an interesting pattern and that caught my attention so then i started saying, well can we see it with other data so we looked at bikes in the same 68 cities and we see a very similar pattern. this is important. so, then looking around for published literature, this phenomena had been seen but not really brought to anyone as tension yet. here's four studies and four different locations looking at walking and bicycling and all specific intersections. if an intersection has a lot of people biking or walking through it, that intersection is lower again per person walking or biking. expanding it a little further,
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you can see that the two charts i showed you earlier are for walking and bikeing in the california cities they really closely match each other. it's not something the bikers are doing less than the walkers it's a common pattern here. the danish government does a good job measuring walking and bicycling in their country. i obtained a data from an author there and we see a similar pattern. less danger where there's more walking. also we can see the same pattern measure out at a country wide level, a very large scale measuring by the amount of trips or distance bicycled. the same pattern, where there's more it's safer. this might be - you are going to plan a biking trip in europe you might want to think about going
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to germany, denmark tore netherlands rather than portugal or spain. those are the brackets on the chart. the british government and government in in netherlands keep a good job keeping up with biking in their countries the graph here just records all the bicycling activity starting in the 1950's today. and we saw the amount of biking in both countries decreases but injury risk goes up in the countries as the amount of bicycling increase and the motors increased until the 1970's and then they turned around. the two countries turned around. probably in 1970s the second oil embargo and sort of the whole
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green movement and more focus on biking. actually the netherlands took this to task and actually actively promoted bicycling and tried to get the culture back-up in the netherlands and they were able to do that. the graph shows as the amount of bicycling goes down the risk goes down as we saw in the intersections and cities and countries and then also this time series data shows us as the bicycle activity increases the injury risk went down. so, this brings up some key points. i would like everyone to leave with the point your safer walking or bicycling where more people are walking and bicycling. this is a republican mri kabl plausible relationship. this seems to make sense and we'll explore that further. if we triple the amount of
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walking or biking the total injuries only go up by 50% no. not a factor of three but 50%. that's good news and means if we triple the amount of walking and biking we'll have the risk for you as an individual. that's good news you want to walk or bike in a location where a lot of people are doing that. of course it begs the question what's happening here - what's changing? this pedestrian or bicyclist that changes when mores around. that doesn't seem like lichlt my experience walking or bikeing in new york or berkley, pedestrians seem to be pretty assertive but not differential to the motorist and conversely in a town where there's not much people that walk and bike are more differential to the motorist and
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they give them little extra room. does the motorists behavior change. i certainly think so. my experience i live in sacramento and often visit davis and if i drive there known for all they're biking activity i know i'm going to see someone on a bicycle and each me i see myself turning on full alert. another possible factor here is trauma care. we've had great strides with this. our post trauma has done so good. we're really good fixing injuries. there's analysis that says basically that the number of deaths per mile driven in america has gone down at the same rate as a funny little metrix here but the success rate of violent assaults but the
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murder per violence deaths ratio. those two deaths per mile driven and violent assault have gone down in lock step for the last 30-years. good evidence of improved trauma care. the point here is it makes it hard look at the time series data. it's hard to hash out what's occurring. another possible factor is roadway design. we are now seeing we're building roads more pedestrian friendly and more bicycle friendly, i worked at ninth and market 20 years back and was surprised to see a bike lane in front of city hall. that's big change we're seeing. roadway design explain why we're seeing the differences we saw in the united kingdom and netherlands? you know the netherlands put a
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big effort into roadway design and saw increased bicycling and a reduction of the injury rate, but we also saw similar pattern in the, uk. not as pronounced but we see the same thing. i think roadway design is good for encouraging people to walk and bicycle but there's confusion whether that's making safety or the roadway making safety. i'd love to explore that further. did laws change? um... we've had changes in laws. pedestrian code was updateed 1970s in the golden age of the automobile here in california and that removes rights from pedestrians and they require to take due care walking across across walk where before that only the motorists had to take due care. we see changes like that was but i don't think that explains the safety in numbers phenomena
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here. so, what are the lessons here? i say we need to get more walking and bicycling and i think that's consistent making the streets safer. how do we get more people walking and bicycling, we have experts to talk about that later today but fund mentally it's making the streets comfortable for people. we need to mark cross walks and designate lanes. these timb things have shown effective. we extend curbs and raise medians are very effective in encouraging people to walk and makes things safer. lowering motor speeds and pedestrian and bicyclists are sensitive to motorists speeds and final lesson to do thing to reduce the time. again people walking and bicycling have a limited time
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they'll spend going to their destinations so if we can make they're trip quicker we'll see more of it. i'll finish up with kind of where i started. what is - what is safety? i put up here an ad from the national highway safety administration and they're saying here, did you know even if you feel confident crossing the streets around your home, don't assume that cars will stop for you and they show an outline of a dead body there in the cross walk. well what kind of message are we saying here. this falls on the no injury camp. don't walk and no injuries as apposed to what i propose here is the reduce the danger camp. that's what safety means. reducing the danger so we should have this person walking across and not be afraid of being run over. that's what safety is about. reducing the danger.
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with that i'll finish up. thank you. [applause] >> thank you peter. the mission of the cities pedestrian program is to promote walking as a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation and to reduce pedestrian coalitions in san francisco. peters presentation shows us that promoting walking can directly lead to a reduction of pedestrian coalitions so thank you peter for your presentation. i'd also like welcome the chair of our municipal transportation agency board reverend james director mccray. please help me welcome him today. [applause] thank you for being with us today. our next speaker is ramone smith
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and he will be presenting the community priorities for san francisco. ramone is the chair of the city of san francisco's pedestrian safety advisory committee. he also serves as chair of the housing committee of the south of market project area committee known as somepak. please help me welcome ramone smith. >> good morning and thank you for your presence today. as you well know pedestrian safety is a very important part of our community. what i have done i've consulted with experts. especially those that have worked with pedestrian safety for quite some time here in san francisco. what you have in front of you is a collection of photographs if you don't have i'll use your imagination to take you through
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the locations. first area that's problem area is tenth and howard. at the area of tenth and howard you'll find assign that says no pedestrian crossing. and yet, you find it's a double - left turn lane, priorities are given to the vehicles verses the pedestrians. the second picture i would like to take you to would be located at the corner of sixth and howard. three years back there was some redevelopment agency conducted a street improvement project by which there was a plastic pedestrian oasis by which there was no adequate plan for pedestrian safety in the time of this improvement in the area. many times in san francisco we find that on a short notice there's signs posted where there will be improvements made but
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not adequate plans for pedestrian safety. this is something that definitely needs more attention by our city officials and agencies. in san francisco you find a lot of narrow streets. some of which you would find telephone poles in the mid to feel sidewalks that are less than most likely five feet. this is is not adequate space for people mobility impaired or wheelchair accessible. definitely a problem with the, ada requirement. you will find this throughout the city and county of san francisco. next area is corner of 7th and harrison. you see assign there that says no pedestrian crossing. use the sidewalk. again a perfect example that priorities given to moving vehicles verses pedestrian safety. in that area people with
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handicapped and mobility impairment have to travel long distances to cross the street. gridlock in san francisco is more of a day-to-day chore to maneuver third. third and folsom is when you find cars blocking part of the sidewalk of which pedestrians are required to cross. this is definitely not a good safe practice. i print these out to give them because there's an a pun dance of information to you and i hope you take the back of these photographs to take notes so when you go back to your community you continue the discussion on pedestrian safety. thank you for your attention this morning and have a good day. [applause]

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